Victorian rain data is preserved in ancient records

Victorian rain data is preserved in ancient records

Viewed from rainfall measurements at Seathwaite in Lake District in 1895. Available: Met Office

The historic Victorian era comes after millions of records of rain recorded over 200 years were rescued by thousands of volunteers during the first COVID-19 lock.

The Rainfall Rescue program was launched by the University of Reading in March 2020 and gives members of the public a way to free themselves from illness by translating 130 years of observation. Rain from the UK and Ireland.

Some 16,000 volunteers responded to the dive, totaling 5.2 million views in just 16 days. Before the second year of the project’s start, on Saturday, March 26, these records were published to the public in the Met Office’s national history, spanning 26 years to 1836.

The work of the volunteers featured some new stories for the dry and wet months across the UK, as well as providing more context on recent changes in rainfall due to the nature of the climate.

Professor Ed Hawkins, a scientist in charge of the University of Reading and Rainfall Rescue program, said: “I’m happy with the response this program has received from the public. It will take a few months into the day. .

“Thanks to the hard work of the staff, we have had detailed accounts of the amount of rain that has fallen since 1836, as seen by the eyes of other dedicated volunteers from several generations. Charles Darwin returned to the UK in the Beagle with Vice Admiral Robert Fitzroy, a year before the reign of Queen Victoria.

“With interesting knowledge from the past, the new data can capture a long and precise picture of different types of rainfall each month, which will help new scientific research over two centuries. UK and Ireland, and help us better understand the long -term aspects of the critical changes we are witnessing today. “

Dr. Mark McCarthy, head of the Met Office’s National Climate Information Center, said: “The UK’s rain history is very popular, with a lot of time showing us drought and drought. “It would be better for us to be able to understand the challenges posed to us by climate change and the adverse events that are coming.”

Victorian rain data is preserved in ancient records

Historical paper showing observation of the rain handwritten by Lady Bayning of Honingham Hall between 1880 and 1889. Available: Met Office

Top details shared by Rainfall Rescue volunteers:

  • The driest year in history was 1855 (786.5mm), thanks to new data.
  • For many places and the whole of England, May 2020 will be the driest May (for England 9.6mm), when some volunteers are constantly helping to record Rainfall Rescue transcriptions. In doing so, they returned those records in May 1844 (8.3mm for England).
  • November / December 1852 was considered the wettest month – December 1852 was now the third wettest month in Cumbria (364.9mm) and November 1852 was the wettest month in history. large parts of southern England. Water is known to have flooded many places by this time, and the Duke of Wellington was named the Floods after his state funeral in London.
  • It was watched by people from all walks of life – such as “Lady Bayning,” who recorded rain in Norfolk between 1835-1887, and also took her rain survey to London for the civil season.
  • A large number of locations with rain gauges have been included throughout the country, including one near Beatrix Potter’s Hilltop Farm in the Lake District, where she wrote her most famous books.

Before the number

Paper stories studied by Rainfall Rescue volunteers obtained information between 1677 and 1960, covering measurements that were close to every town and village in England and Wales.

Rainfall has been monitored for the whole of the UK since 1860 when George Symons founded the British Rainfall Organization to organize rain operations, and became a member of the Met Office. However, most of the information produced in the pre-digital age, prior to 1960, was not originally translated from original paper stories.

Each of the 65,000 pieces of paper kept at the Met Office National Meteorological Archive reported the amount of rainfall each month for about 10 years and was reviewed in 2019.

The Met Office first returned to the UK in 1862. Thanks to the Rainfall Rescue program, it now has about six times the amount of preliminary surveillance data for the years before 1960. The data has been expanded. 1862 from 19 to more than 700.

These detailed stories may help to increase awareness of the effects of climate change on climate change and not on man.

Victorian rain data is preserved in ancient records

The line chart shows a significant increase in the number of rain gauges providing data to the Met Office’s rainforest company before the 1960s thanks to Rainfall Rescue volunteers. Found: Ed Hawkins / University of Reading

Redefining files

After all the data was translated, eight dedicated volunteers helped organize the data into timelines for each location. These eight volunteers were named as authors in a paper published today (Friday, March 25) at Geoscience Data Journal.

About 3.3 million new articles have been edited by the Met Office and added to the numbers that are widely available on its website.

Catherine Ross, Met Office archivist, said: “This project breaks the definition of an archive. The National Weather Service is an issue.

“However, the revitalization of this 66,000 -year -old project has been given to life by leaving questionable and comparable data in the hands of scientists at Met Offices around the world. . “

Volunteers who participated in the project expressed their appreciation and gratitude to the observers for creating the specific rain stories, and to the British Rainfall Organization for organizing their work.

Jacqui Huntley, one of eight Rainfall Rescue volunteers near Stranraer in Scotland who worked on the entire project, said: “I joined because I’m British and so excited about I live in Scotland where the data is valuable to scientists, but I would also like to learn about rain monitors who are dedicated to measuring measuring every day.. ”

How locksmith volunteers saved the UK’s secret history

More information:
Ed Hawkins et al, Millions of monthly rainfall observations taken in the UK and Ireland saved by local scientists, Geoscience Data Journal (2022). DOI: 10.1002 / gdj3.157

A map showing the locations of the large rainfall measurements that provided data to the Rescue project can be found at

The rain rescue project was implemented in Zooniverse.

Presented by the College of Reading

Directions: Victoria rain data rescued ancient stories (2022, March 27) retrieved on March 27, 2022 from

This document is copyrighted. Except for appropriate action for the purpose of personal inquiry or research, no piece may be reproduced without permission. Information is provided for informational purposes only.

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